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Archive for June 9th, 2011

FCC: Move to digital hasn’t improved local news reporting

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From the “The Feds Are The Last To Know Department”:

The Federal Communications Commission released a study today reporting that an “explosion of online news sources in recent years has not produced a corresponding increase in reporting, particularly quality local reporting …” The study, titled “Information Needs of Communities” takes a broad but somewhat shallow look at the media landscape. It reads as more of a history of how modern media arrived at its current state than as a clear, practical recipe for change.

The study — which looks at the local reporting performance of all media, not just that of newspapers — was undertaken by senior FCC adviser Steven Waldman, a former journalist for Newsweek and U.S. News and World Report. According to his study:

In many communities, we now face a shortage of local, professional, accountability reporting. The independent watchdog function that the Founding Fathers envisioned for journalism — going so far as to call it crucial to a healthy democracy — is in some cases at risk at the local level.

Well, duh. As for newspapers, the FCC could have saved some money by reading critiques of press performance at S&R here and here, many posts at Alan Mutter’s “Reflections of a Newsosaur” blog, this piece by newspaper-industry analyst John Morton’s column in American Journalism Review. Or follow @themediaisdying on Twitter. Or Pew’s “State of the News Media” series. Or it could have just weighed a copy of my local newspaper from 10 years ago and compared it with its featherlight weight today.
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Written by Dr. Denny Wilkins

June 9, 2011 at 12:11 pm

Posted in Uncategorized